World Healthcare
Bird flu rakes in more EU aid than quake
Jan 19, 2006 - 2:08:37 AM

The European Commission Wednesday acknowledged it was providing more aid to fight bird flu than to victims of the devastating earthquake that hit the northern areas of Pakistan and India last October.

A commission spokesman said the bloc had sent 200 million euros ($242 million) in assistance to Pakistan and India following the Oct 8 quake that killed 75,000 people and rendered 3.5 million people homeless in Pakistan.

The death toll in India is put at 1,400 people.

EU aid for bird flu research and for countries hit by avian influenza is estimated at 240 million euros ($291 million dollars), the spokesman said, adding that a recent conference in China on raising more funds to help combat the deadly virus had been a "tremendous success".

Bird flu outbreaks in China and parts of Southeast Asia and Turkey have led to the culling of thousands of poultry.

An estimated 79 people are reported to have died from the disease in Asia and Turkey following contact with sick birds, according to the World Health Organisation.

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